One good thing about being in the gallery with the exhibition – with or without visitors – is that it gives me the opportunity to live with this body of work for a while. I can consider the things that have gone well and those which haven’t. I can think about which direction to go in next.

The things I particularly like are the works which sit on the dark grey wall. Particularly during the days when the sun streams through the skylights, the texture of the paper seems more sumptuous somehow, and the way the ink sediment sits on it and sinks into it is highlighted beautifully. I like the swathe of muslin, hanging from the apex of the skylight, as it gathers the light and brings it down into the space, glowing.

I think I’d have preferred the other wall to be dark grey too, but some things cannot be controlled, so we do different things, it offers a different range of possibilities, and I have painted lines and words on the wall instead… carrying the lines beyond the edge of the page.

I wrote/painted some lyrics on the stairwell wall… I think I should have taken more time and prepared the surface a little first. But it’s done, and I know for next time.

What I am really loving though is the listening. This is how it was supposed to be. The links visual and aural between the lines of ink and the lines of music and lyrics are definitely there. I think yesterday’s event helped fix that for me too. It was a bit of a risk, I’d not done this before… Bill Laybourne and I had had a day drawing and making sounds, but to do this in the gallery with a live audience was very interesting. I think it took about 30/35 minutes, but there were times i zoned out and just drew, unaware of audience, and times when very aware of them, when a sound made me laugh and they laughed too… connection… Bill playing… and making me giggle. It felt appropriate, because I like to find laughter in amongst all this. Too serious is not good, it makes me think that people will think I take myself too seriously, that pompous thing is a real turn off!

There are moments in the music too, that have a little bit of the ridiculous, and I love those! This song, Undertaker Bees, is a good example of that underlining of the serious with the ridiculous and I love it (thanks Mike).

As I have sat here, I feel this work is a true reflection of who I am as an artist. Can’t ask for much more than that can I?



So much to write about, and where to start?

The opening weekend of Drawing Songs went well. I had some lovely conversations on the opening evening, some very positive feedback about the drawings and the songs, and much discussion about that combination, the blurring of edges and so on. Good stuff. On Sunday afternoon I performed some of the songs with Michael Clarke (writer, producer, musician, friend) and it was really lovely to sing to the drawings – who knew that was a thing? It really felt like I was saying thank you to them. We had a small but beautifully formed audience, restricted of course by space and covid, but actually it made the whole experience very intimate, casual, friendly and caring. I must confess to having a little emotional moment. I had been nursing a cold and sore throat for about a week, but it all came well in the end. No high notes were missed, although some of the lower ones could be described as sexily croaky (my own description, ha!)

I have sold quite a few of the limited edition CD/lyric book packages already – feedback is good too – very gratifying!

Much interest in the drawings… but no sales yet. However I do understand that buying art is a very special, specific thing… I may sell none of them. It would be nice, but I am a realist.

The big thing for me is seeing the project come to this point, to see this body of work and hear it, all together in one place, to assess it and move forward from here.

I have one eye on the fact I have to evaluate this for the Arts Council. So I have been looking at my original proposal. Have I done what I said I would do? Yes. Most definitely. But what is terrific is the big chunk of MORE that I have achieved. It has exceeded all my expectations by miles. I have a pile of things to look at, more songs to write, a couple of drawing adventures to continue, contacts to follow up, conversations to continue.

I have an artist talk online if you would like to listen to that, a conversation with Bill Laybourne in my studio, a few weeks ago, as I was pulling it all together.


Bill will be working with me next Saturday afternoon on a live drawing session with sounds from Bill, based on the songs – collaborative, improvised – a bit daunting to do this with an audience, but I am looking forward to it. If you’d like to join us in Stourbridge for that please book through Eventbrite


I’m also doing a workshop for people to join in with the fun, on 4th November in the afternoon. You can book here


The gallery is open 11-4, Wednesdays to Sundays, until November 7th. If you would like to come and these times don’t work, please get in touch and we can maybe make an appointment out-of-hours.


Well life never quite goes to plan does it?

The opening is four days away and I have got the stinkiest of stinky colds and a really sore throat. Thankfully, frequent testing shows it isn’t the dreaded Covid, but it is pretty rank, and unless I make a rapid recovery, could be a nightmare for the performance on Sunday. At the moment, I think I’m getting slightly better each day, but will that be enough? Who knows?

My theory is two fold: firstly, I’ve been working really hard and trying to get things done, and scooting about all over the place, running myself ragged; secondly, we have all been isolated and masked up, and now we are out and about and mixing together, ALL the germs, not just Covid, are having a party in our nostrils and throats. So here I am. I’m doing all the remedies, drinking lots of water, taking the pills and potions, and above all, forcing myself to take a couple of days proper rest.

In another part of life, in the studio lies chaos. My tranquil studio is besieged, and not a place for working creatively at the moment. It is stacked high with the work to be hung, the work NOT to be hung, posters and flyers, The Merch (Limited edition Drawing Songs Books and CDs) and the tools of the hang – hammer, drill, assorted fixtures and fittings, tapes, wires and string… and to my shame more that one or two half drunk tea mugs and a couple of apple cores that didn’t make it to the bin yet.

But then, weirdly, and if I’m being frank I feel it could have waited a week or three, I am struck with a thought that won’t go away, with an idea for a piece of follow-on work… again this is both sound, and drawing… and again, I have a collection of lyrics already partly written, which when sparked with a bit of inspiration from outside, will work really well when connected up with the visual that came to me at 4:30 this morning while making yet another soothing honey and lemon drink, in the hopes of getting to sleep. No chance. Seeing my brain in a state of stupor, my imagination has free reign and goes on the rampage. An hour or so later, the idea is lodged in my notebook, and can wait, until the exhibition is finished, the cold has gone, and the studio is tidy.

Then back to bed, to sleep till 11:30am. Proper poorly.


Well here we are then!

This is one of those all singing all dancing business posts…

The Exhibition times are set, and the events are planned and on Eventbrite for anyone who would like to book. It does seem weird to book a place for a PV, but we are in weird times right? It’s free, but just a way to monitor the numbers in the space. All the events are free too.

So… the PV is on the evening of Saturday 23rd October here:

On the afternoon of Sunday 24th October I will be doing a live acoustic set of some of the songs with Michael Clarke, my co-writer and producer. That link is here:

On the afternoon of Saturday 30th October I will be doing a live drawing and sound performance with Bill Laybourne. That link is here:

This year long project is done now. Except of course it isn’t. The project actually started several years ago. Some of the lyrics were written in 2017. The drawings have evolved over the last five years, and all that happens is that when you set up an exhibition, you actually are taking a snapshot, a view from a point along a line of organic development. 

I think that is possibly one of the tricks when applying for funding… to align what you are funding within your continuing practice. Yes it is a project, a discrete body of work, certainly, but sitting happily among what was before and what will come after.

I think I might measure the success of a project through what it starts. Have I made work that sparks new thoughts? Have I met and worked with people I didn’t know before? Can I see new possibilities from the vantage point of the exhibition space? The answers are Yes, Yes, and Yes. 

I’m really looking forward to hanging the work next week, and playing the music into the space where it hangs. I’m really looking forward to showing it and playing it to others. 

But now, I think what I’m really looking forward to is sitting back, letting it all sink in and filter through, and let it do its thing.